Giant snake ‘circled man and ate dog’

TIGHT SPOT: Police estimate the boa constrictor seized at Singleton on Tuesday was 2.3 metres long. It is also suspected to have consumed a small dog and possibly circled a man expected to be face charges. Picture: NSW Police
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A MAN is likely facing charges after reportedly evading a circling boa constrictor confiscated from aSingleton home on Tuesday.

Police believe the 2.3 metre behemoth also devoured a small dog before it was seized from a property and put down.

Investigators expect to charge the man with possessing an exotic species without a licence after the 2.3-metre snake “may have eaten a small dog and attempted to constrict its owner in his sleep.”

Only licensed zoos and exhibitors can possess exotic reptiles in Australia under NSW Office of Environment and Heritage restrictions.

Officers seized the reptile from a Wentworth Avenue address on Tuesday after reports the owner was keeping the snake at the property.

Australian Reptile Park curator Liz Gabriel said a domesticanimal “like a little terrier” was roughly the size of creature a boa constrictor would target.

“It’s more unusual they’d try to constrict a person but look, it has happened before,” she said.“Really the only reason a constrictor would do that is to eat something it considers its prey.”

There are ten subspecies of boa constrictors, with the largest recorded stretching 5.5 metres long. More typically, they reach up to four metres in length and dwell in the Americas and some parts of the Caribbean.

Boa constrictors are typically nocturnal andgenerally live alone. The size of their prey increases as they age from rodents through to larger mammals and birds.

Authorities will euthanise the snake found in the Hunter, a decision attributed to the danger it poses to household pets and native mammals.

Given the reptile’s unclear origins, it could also carry disease and pose a broader biosecurity risk.

Investigations were continuing on Tuesday night.

Hunter Valley Zoo director Jason Pearson was unaware of the find at Singleton until contacted by Fairfax Mediabut said tropical snakes often thrived in Australia,a factor in their black market popularity.

Dr. Michelle Christy, National Incursion Response Facilitator for Invasive Animals CRC, told PestSmart Connect in 2015the constrictors’ large litters of live young allowed them to proliferate quickly from small numbers.

“It isn’t out of the question that a single pregnant female could establish a large population quickly,” she said.

In 2012 a fugitive boa constrictor sparked a hunt through western Newcastle.

Crane hanging ‘precariously’ from 51st floor of Barangaroo tower

The crane dangles on top of Tower One at Barangaroo in Sydney’s CBD. Photo: Supplied The Barangaroo towers taking shape. Photo: Peter Rae
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The crane dangling from Barangaroo’s Tower One. Photo: Nick Ryan

There were no reports of injuries after the incident, which occurred about 2pm. Photo: Supplied

A damaged crane hangs from the 51st floor of the highest tower at Barangaroo in the Sydney CBD. Photo: Kate Geraghty

A crane continues to hang precariously from the 51st floor of the highest tower at Barangaroo in Sydney’s CBD, after it was damaged while lowering machinery on Tuesday afternoon.

An exclusion zone is still on force at the bottom of Tower One at the northern end of the building project, but there were no reports of injuries in the incident which occurred at about 2pm.

The 3.9-tonne spider boom crane involved in the incident was bolted onto the top of Tower One, and was lowering a so-called boom lift at the time.

Police have closed Hickson Road and Sussex Street to traffic and pedestrians between Erskine Street and Towns Place.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said early on Wednesday morning that the operation to remove the crane was ongoing, and was expected to take until later in the morning at least.

“We’re asking people to avoid the area,” she said.

The closure of the roads due to the crane breakdown caused traffic delays on Wednesday. The 311, 324 and 325 buses were diverted away from Hickson Road, while the 288, 290 and 292 services started their trips from King Street Wharf instead of Sussex Street.

The Traffic Management Centre said it did not know when Hickson Road would be able to be opened.

A spokesman for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, which represents workers at the site, said the crane was “hanging precariously” from the top of Tower One.

“They were lowering pieces of machinery and it has sort of collapsed under that load,” he said on Tuesday. “As to the cause, it is hard to tell at the moment. It is up 51 floors.”

Tower One has a small number of tenants who recently moved in.

Lend Lease, the developer of Barangaroo, said in a statement on Wednesday that it was continuing to work with a team of crane experts on a process to safely lower the load and remove the crane from the roof of Tower One.

“The precautionary exclusion zone remains in place this morning with traffic management along the closed section of Hickson Road. We will advise next steps in due course,” it said.

The latest incident follows the dramatic collapse of a crane on a Meriton building in north Sydney in September, which left three workers dangling from the high rise.

CFMEU state secretary Brian Parker said he understood a mechanical failure had led to the incident at the top of the Barangaroo tower.

“This is the second one we have had in a short space of time [in Sydney],” he said. “Work is going to be stopped [on Tower One] until such a time that we are satisfied that no one is going to be put at risk.”

Mr Parker said he was concerned that too many incidents were occurring during the erection and dismantling of cranes, and the union would “be in touch with SafeWork and we will be saying that we will have a blitz”. Customers: Wynyard Walk is temporarily closed due to a Police Operation at Barangaroo. Please use alternate route. Thanks.— T1 Sydney Trains (@T1SydneyTrains) November 8, 2016

Construction of Tower One, which is now one of Sydney’s tallest buildings, is close to completion.

However, it will eventually be overtaken by Crown’s casino and hotel complex, which will be built just north of it at Barangaroo. — James Henaghan (@jameshenaghan) November 8, 2016

With Megan Levy

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Incitec Pivot to cut debt as Louisiana plant ramps up

Incitec Pivot expects recent rainfall to lift fertiliser demand Photo: Greg McKenzieAfter spending $2 billion on big new projects in Australia and the US in recent years, investors in fertiliser-to-explosives group Incitec Pivot may have to wait a little longer to benefit, with the focus on reducing debt for the time being.
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At the same time, the group was cool towards the recent rise seen in commodity prices, which is yet to be reflected in its order book.

“We are really well placed for the uptick – when it comes,” chief executive James Fazzino​ said on Tuesday. He said he was aware of the reports of the re-opening of mines after the rise in the coal price, but it is yet to be reflected in orders.

“There are some positive signs,” he said. “There will be an upturn and we will generate compelling returns.

“The focus is on de-leveraging the balance sheet.”

He was speaking after the release of earnings for the year to September, which showed the net profit fell to $128.1 million from $398.9 million, due to low fertiliser prices, restructuring charges and write offs.

The final dividend of 4.6¢ gives an annual 8.7¢ a share payout which exceeded the full-year earnings a share of 7.6¢.

Incitec Pivot is expecting a significant lift in earnings over the next two years as it ramps up production at its new ammonia plant in Louisiana which is expected to run at 80 per cent of capacity in the year ahead, rising to maximum output in 2019, coupled with rising product prices. This plant alone is capable of generating about a quarter of the group’s earnings.

“It is a story of two countries,” Mr Fazzino said. “In Australia, and the Pacific, we’re through a lot of the worst – the metallurgical (coking) coal and iron ore outlook is a lot more positive than six months ago, therefore we expect an increase in volumes in Australia.

“In the US the structural change in US coal – it’s moved from the east to the west – to the Powder River Basin and we’re well placed for that,” he said with the Cheyenne, Wyoming, plant.

RBC analyst Andrew Scott said: “This was a credible result against the backdrop of difficult end markets conditions.”

Citi told its clients the results could trigger a sense of relief for investors.

“The outlook commentary looks pragmatic given the tough market backdrop the company currently faces,” it told clients earlier on Tuesday. “Incitec Pivot is not expecting much change in explosives markets this year and is suggesting that average fertiliser prices may continue to reflect further cyclical reductions.

“Given that expectations going into the result were very low this should not come as any great surprise and the result may generate a sense of relief.”

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Lyall Gorman confident Ben Barba is the only Cronulla Sharks player to fail drug test

Heading to Thailand: Ben Barba. Photo: Michele MossopCronulla CEO Lyall Gorman is confident Ben Barba is the only Shark to have recorded a positive result following a Mad Monday testing blitz on party drugs.
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The Sharks have released Barba from his playing contract to deal with personal issues after he recorded a positive test to cocaine just four days after the club won its maiden premiership.

Barba was given an extension until 5pm on Monday should he wish to lodge an appeal over his sanction, which is a 12-month ban after recording a second strike under the NRL’s illicit drug policy.

The former Dally M medallist had previously tested positive to recreational drugs in 2015. Gorman, who confirmed Barba would not be lodging an appeal against the decision, was confident no other Sharks players had been busted following their premiership festivities.

“That’s a very good question, because if I did know I couldn’t tell you [due to the protocols],” Gorman said.

“But what I can say is that I’m not aware of any players who have tested positive since then … We have been advised by the NRL no other player has tested positive during that period.”

The NRL integrity unit wrote to all clubs before the beginning of the finals series warning that there would be increased testing during a “risk period for players”. Barba’s decision not heed the warnings has resulted in him leaving the Sharks, potentially prematurely ending his career.

Asked if he was shocked by Barba’s decision to take cocaine in spite of repeated warnings, Gorman said: “Yes, absolutely surprised.

“He made a poor choice on a poor day. Whether he got carried away with the celebrations, I don’t know the exact circumstances of when this occurred. But obviously a poor choice.”

Despite recording a previous positive drugs result in early 2015, Gorman said “we felt very comfortable that Ben was heading in a very positive direction.”

However, the former Bulldogs and Broncos fullback will now head to a Thai rehabilitation facility to deal with personal issues.

“To think that Ben is not in a distressed state is clearly an understatement,” Gorman said.

“He has massive issues to confront on a personal basis, he has put his hand up and acknowledged those.

“It is him and his management that have requested the release. He needs to get out of the professional environment to fully focus on himself.”

The latest drama is more negative publicity that has detracted from Cronulla’s historic premiership win.

There was speculation star forward Andrew Fifita would walk out on the game after being overlooked for Clive Churchill medal and representative honours, however his management have dismissed any suggestion he wants out of the NRL.

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Medhurst trio has its eyes on golden prize

The Tasmanian Gold Cup is one of the feature races on the Tasmanian greyhound racing calendar.
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The final will be staged this week in Hobart with the powerful Ted Medhurst kennel launching a three-pronged attack on the trophy.

Ted will be represented by veteran performer Star Chamber and up and coming stars Chief Jetpilot and Dark Casio.

Star Chamber is almost four years of age but is still performing at the highest-level week-in week-out, qualifying for the final by running second, beaten a length by the Eileen Thomas-trained Perfect Metre.

The son of Lonesome Cry – Infatuation has stepped out on the Hobart track on forty-five occasions for twenty wins and eighteen placings, and will be one of the more fancied runners for the final after drawing box two.

ANTICIPATION: The Tasmanian Gold Cup is a precursor to the Hobart Thousand which was won in 2015 by Unlawful Entry.

Kennel-mate Dark Casio, a daughter of multiple-Classic winner Emerald Lee, has only had six starts on the track for two victories and three seconds.

This includesher close second behind the Anthony Bullock sprinter Strait Ate in last week’s heat.

Chief Jetpilot rounds out the leading trainer’s assault with a record of three wins and sixplacings from just eleven starts on the track.

Tasmanian Country Derby winner Celtic Kid, trained by Shirley Sutcliffe will be shooting for a winning hat-trick after gunning down Chief Jetpilot in his heat, while the Susan Gittus-prepared Suzy La Rue showed her class,notching up herfourth win on the track.

She provedtoo slick for the Margaret Rossendell-trained Aye Pee McCoy winning by four lengths.

The running of the Gold Cup also signals the Luxbet Hobart Thousand is just around the corner.

Tasmania’s feature race series will be run over two weeks, culminating with the $107,000 final on December 22.

The state’s best sprinters willattemptto stave off a strong interstate contingent.

First run in 1939, the Hobart Thousand boasts winners from Australia and New Zealand and itshonour rollis littered with the superstars of greyhound racing.

Little Spaniard, trained by Mick Stringer, is the most recent Tasmanian winner back in 2008, toppling its more fancied kennel-mate Topline Doovee.

Dyna Tron the 2010 champion also captured the Gr 1 Melbourne Cup on its way to clinching the 2011 Australian Greyhound Of The Year title.

The Steve Kavanagh-trained Australian Hall Of Fame champion Brother Fox was in the winner’s circle in 1985 and the super chaser Benjamin John conquered another Hall Of Fame star, Zoom Top, in a race for the ages in 1969.

One fact we know for sure, the fastest greyhounds and the best trainers in the land will travel to Tasmania in quest of Group 1 glory.

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Toxic fallout spreads on from Williamtown

CONCERNS: Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has been critical of the government’s handling of the Williamtown contamination issue since it emerged last year. Picture: Andrew MearesTOXIC chemicals that have devastated property prices and caused industry shutdowns in Williamtown have been found at Defence sites across Australia, in some cases well in excess of levels considered safe in Australia.
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The Department of Defence released the results of preliminary testing for perfluorinated chemicals –or PFAS –from 12 sitesacross Australia on Tuesday.

The results revealed levels of the contaminants in ground and surface water that in some cases are well-above what’s considered safe in Australia.

At the RAAF base in Townsville, where the highest levels were returned, Defence found perfluorooctane sulfonate –or PFOS – and perfluorooctanoic acid –or PFOA –in groundwater at levels of 61.4 parts per billionand 4.84 parts per billion respectively.

Defence said it only conducted testing on-site at Townsville “due to the absence of suitable off-site bores for sampling”.

Australia’s current interim safe standards are 0.5 and 5 parts per billion respectively. Defence used screening levels that are lower than that standard,but higher than thosecurrently used in the United States.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said the contamination had become a national issue.

“This is a national environmental issue, it is a workplace safety issue, it is a public health issue and it is deserving of serious, urgent action from the government,” she said.

“We must not have another twelve repeats of the situation in Williamtown, which culminated in a class action lawsuit being filed against the Department of Defence last week.”

Shadow Assistant Defence Minister Gai Brodtmann said the delay in releasing the findings of the testing has “left communities without certainty and caused stress and anxiety”.

“Labor will closely review the report and continue to hold the Turnbull Government to account in its management of the PFAS issue and its consultation and communication with communities,” she said.

The contaminants are thelegacy of fire-fighting foams historically used at Defence sites and airports.

They’re considered an “emerging contaminant”, and have been linked to health issues including thyroid problems and kidney disease.

Defence conducted testingat the 12 sites after the Williamtown contamination issue came to light “becausethere is a history of using [the foam]”at the sites.

The Newcastle Heraldreported last week that residents of Williamtown have filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Defence last week, more than a year after the contamination issue first surfaced.

Qld agriculture makes record contribution

FORECAST: Acting agriculture minister Bill Byrne says the value of Queensland agriculture is forecast to be $18.55 billion for 2016-17.IT may be regarded as the Palaszczuk government’s most junior portfolio butQueensland’s agriculture sector is continuing to make a record contribution to the state’s economy.
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Forecasts released by actingagriculture ministerBill Byrne in parliament today shows the value of primary industry commodities for 2016-17 is on target to grow by 6 per cent.

“Previous Agtrends forecasts have highlighted impressive growth in the value of production in Queensland over the past two years, growth achieved during, and in spite of, a record drought,” Mr Byrne said.

“The total value for 2016-17 is now forecast to be $18.55 billion.

“That is a full 15pcgreater than the average for the past five years.”

Mr Byrne –who has been brought in to manage the agriculture and fisheries portfolios following the shock resignation of disgraced former minister Leanne Donaldson – paid tribute to producers and singled out a number of star performers, including avocados, macadamias, cotton and chickpeas.

“Queensland’s avocado producers have responded to demand and the GVP is now forecast to be $225 million for 2016-17 – 49pchigher than DAF’s final estimate for 2015-16,” he said.

“The GVP for Queensland mandarins is forecast to grow by 30pc, mangoes by 23pcand macadamias by 17pc. The forecast for macadamias is, at $140m, 97pcgreater than the average for the past five years.

“In the year to September 2016, the value of cotton exports from Queensland soared by 90pc- from $406mto $770m.

“Queensland cotton is clearly in demand overseas and its performance has been eclipsed by chickpeas.

“Queensland producers have responded to increase demand overseas, driving a 176% rise in export values in the year to September – worth $649 million, up from $235 million just a year ago.”

Mr Byrne said it was inevitable that some sectors of the industry were doing better than others but it was great news that the food and fibre industry continued to increase its contribution to the state’s economy.

“Queensland agriculture as a whole is clearly in very fine fettle and the Palaszczuk government will continue to support our farmers to maintain their invaluable contribution to our economy,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Eightball: Lions claim shield

SHIELD WINNERS: N.Wood, G.Williams, S.Vandersluys, D.Morrison, I.Mullen, G.Bowie, R.Mullen, G.Worsnop (captain) and S.McCarrick celebrate their grand final win.Lions claim another shield after thriller grand final with Shamrocks at Croatia Soccer Club SINGLE CHAMPION: Gordon Worsnop presents the Singles Champion of the Year to Andy Ripley.
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The club 8-ball grand final was held at Croatia Soccer Club recently between Lions Black and Shamrocks in front of 80 players and supporters, and another 20 odd ladies darts teams playerswho were playing their regular season matches.

Lions Black were attempting to go back-to-back league champions and Shamrocks were attempting to create some history of their own-having come from sixth spot on the ladder at the end of the regular rounds.

Support for both teams was strong and the crowd was ready to witness what turned out to be a grand final of epic proportions, truly one for the ages!

Match one (Shamrocks named first) Donny Boyd vs Shaun McCarrick (ump M.Taylor).

Boyd broke the balls, nothing down, and McCarrick started like a house on fire potting four straight and even though Boyd played some sensational shots, one which was a full length double to park his ball in front of McCarrick’s two balls close to the pocket,t he start proved too much and Lions were away.

Match two Bob Gray vs Robert Mullen (ump G.Docherty).

Mullen broke, nothing down, Gray missed a difficult cut into the middle pocket and Mullen was away and seemingly in a comfortable position, whittling away while leaving his opponent very little to go for.

Suddenly, Gray exploded and potted five on the trot with sensational play and left himself a gettable shot on the black, Iknow my heart was ready to leap out of my chest and probably most people in the room were in the same boat but unfortunately the black didn’t fall, and Mullen, like the very good player he is potted the three required to win and Lions players were estatic – they had the perfect start and led 2-0.

Match threeGraeme Marsland vs George Bowie (ump Anton Babich) and match report by D.Boyd.

Marsland broke, again nothing down and it was a tense start for both players with so much pressure, particularly on Marsland who potted the first ball of the match and setting another ball over the top left pocket.

Bowie responded by also potting one ball and then left Marsland with a touching ball, setting the scene for the first of the real cat and mouse games of the night with both players leaving bugger all for their opponent and setting balls over pockets at the same time.

This match went right down to the wire between two bloody good players but it was the old guy Marsland’s shot on the black which although not going in covered the pocket and Bowie’s extremely difficult shot to attempt a full length of the table snooker with just the one ball left and on the back cushion to boot that didn’t quite work, (Ican’t print what he wrote then) that ultimately won him the match and Shamrocks were on the board 1-2.

Match 4 Warren Macdonald vs Norm Wood (ump Tommy Flannagan).

Wood broke, again nothing down and Macdonald missed, Wood potted three and then Macdonald went in-off.

Wood potted another three and needed just the one plus the black and Macdonald still needed six plus the black and it appeared his goose was cooked with nerves coming in waves as big as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the pressure so intense as a Lions win would make it very difficult for Shamrocks to come back and Wood was affected with nerves as well by now.

The expected comeback from a man of Macdonald’s ability came quickly and his potting was almost unbelievable and now both players needed just one and the black, then Wood went in-off-two shots to Macdonald who potted one then missed the black which allowed Wood a double.

He didn’t get it, left Macdonald a double and Houdini’s name was mentioned a few times when he potted it and the crowd went wild with excitement.

Shamrocks were level at two all and we had one hell of a final on our hands.

Match 5 Steve Warren vs Scotty Vandersluys (ump Bailey Jones).

Warren broke and by hell still nothing down but leaving nothing as well and the next extremely tactical game unfolded between last season’s champion and Lions Vandersluys who is very good in these tight situations.

This was a gut wrenching game, not only for the players but supporters of both sides as well and hearts were beating at 100 miles an hour-nip and tuck all the way through with neither player able to gain an ascendancy due to nerves and also brilliant tactical play.

Vandersluys prevailed by one ball in the end and so ended a great game and Lions were deservedly estatic and had regained the lead.

Match 6 Steve Brooks vs Ian Mullen (ump Jimmy Mair).

I can’t remember a final where not a single ball was potted in the singles but it happened this night when Mullen couldn’t get one either and yet another gut wrenching, soul tearing, cat and mouser developed, absolutely riveting stuff, Brooks was brilliant at times but no-one saw the five ball pot out coming which had everyone in the room with sore hands and throats (again) and Shamrocks wouldn’t go away, levelling the singles at 3-3.

A fantastic supper was provided by Croatia, and there was so much of it as well.

Very well done to all who were involved in providing it to us!

Match 7 1st doubles John Coulter/Donny Boyd vs Shaun McCarrick/George Bowie (ump Tim O’Neil).

Boyd potted a ball off the break to everyone’s delight and a real head banger game developed.

The crowd were wondering where some of the shots played were coming from but the players knew what they were doing, not always potting but setting up and leaving nothing was again the order of play and it was quite a long game with Shamrocks needing two and Lions needing three with the master in Coulter to play.

What happened next drew an expletive from me as Iwas in awe of how he made such perfect position from a seemingly impossible angle-setting the white right on the side cushion 16 inches from the black on the same cushion and Shamrocks had hit the front for the first time in the match 4-3, people were going ballistic!

Match 8 Steve Warren/Richard McEvoy/vsNorm Wood/Scotty Vandersluys (ump David Stirling).

Wood broke, nothing down and Shamrocks had the upper hand early with Warren in good touch but the Lions grit shone through and they dragged the game back to level terms and another fascinating match unfolded with lady luck showing her flirtatious ways with both teams and again, this match ebbed and flowed until Vandersluys potted out brilliantly and Lions had drawn level at 4-4 with just the last doubles to play-what a final!

Match 9 Steve Brooks/Graeme Marsland vs Robert/Ian Mullen (umpAndy Ripley) – match report by Donny Boyd.

Brooks broke, nothing down R.Mullen potted two smalls for Lions, Marsland potted three for Shamrocks then went in-off after a cannon.

Ian Mullen played two ripping shots, one to remove a Shamrocks ball which was right over the south east pocket (Ireally don’t know how he worked that out) and potted a ball in the opposite pocket at the same time, then potted another, a brilliant shot also, but missed their final ball.

Shamrocks had a great chance when Brooks had a golden opportunity to produce a five ball pot-out but only two fell and then it was snooker after snooker, enthralling stuff until indecision struck Shamrocks and Marsland didn’t strike the ball well when trying for a topspin snooker instead of a long white down the bottom of the table, Ian Mullen played another good shot,the black was easy and Lions had won a beauty 5-4.

Gordon Worsnop presented the Singles Champion of the year to Andy Ripley and the shields to the respective captains and a great night and final was over. See you all next year!

– MarsyThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

RSL boss Rod White stands aside over allegations of financial misconduct

RSL national president Rod White has been stood down. Photo: Jeff de PasqualeThe national president of the RSL, Rod White, has been stood down, as the scandal in the NSW branch over consultancy payments to voluntary directors deepens.
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Acting president Robert Dick said Mr White had been asked to stand aside while allegations of financial misconduct against him and a number of fellow directors of RSL Lifecare were investigated fully.

In October, Fairfax Media revealed Mr White and three NSW colleagues had received a share in nearly $1 million in consulting fees paid by RSL Lifecare, where they were directors.

RSL Lifecare, which operates 45 nursing homes and retirement villages, is controlled by RSL NSW. Mr White and other members of the state council had appointed themselves to the board of the company.

Mr Dick said the review into the payment of fees being undertaken by advisory firm KordaMentha had rocked the RSL in its centenary year and just days before Remembrance Day.

“I can assure the community that RSL National takes a zero-tolerance approach to any unlawful practices,” he said.

“It is very unfortunate that the RSL is involved in this sort of investigation during the commemoration of the league’s centenary and in the lead-up to Remembrance Day.

“However, we must not lose sight of the incredible work the RSL has done for the past 100 years to support veterans and their families. That support is needed now more than ever.”

As revealed by Fairfax, documents lodged with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission show that over the past three years, $980,675 was paid in “consulting fees” to up to 10 directors of RSL LifeCare.

During this period, four of those directors were also RSL NSW state councillors. The payments were made despite their roles as councillors being voluntary.

Over those three years, Mr White was either state treasurer or president. Then state councillors Don Rowe, Bill Humphreys and Bob Crosthwaite were also RSL LifeCare directors when the payments were made.

All four were appointed to the RSL LifeCare board by the state council they were sitting on at the time.

Mr White has previously said that “there is no conflict of interest” and he was “entitled to enter into a commercial agreement” with RSL LifeCare separate to his voluntary position as an RSL NSW councillor.

Concern about financial mismanagement in the NSW branch goes back to at least September, when a forensic audit of the past seven years’ spending by senior leadership was announced.

The NSW branch of the RSL has 364 sub-branches and is worth an estimated $500 million.

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Rashadul Islam’s visa cancelled after girl ‘raped, held captive’ in Blacktown

The house in Blacktown where the girl was allegedly held captive for four weeks. Photo: Rachel OldingA man who lived with up to eight flatmates in a cramped western Sydney share house kept a 15-year-old girl captive for four weeks and allegedly raped her at least four times.
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Yet not one of Rashadul Islam’s housemates in the run-down bungalow on Balmoral Street, Blacktown, noticed anything amiss as he allegedly held the girl against her will until she managed to escape last Thursday.

Neighbours were woken by the girl’s screams at 1.30am on Thursday.

A passing police car then saw her running barefoot down Balmoral Street with Mr Islam, 29, chasing behind her.

He allegedly tried to drag her back to the house until police intervened and arrested him.

The girl, who was reported missing from a residential out-of-home care facility in October, told police that she had been held against her will for four weeks.

It is understood she met Mr Islam in passing after running away from her foster parents in early October.

Her biological mother posted a status update on Facebook about six weeks ago desperately looking for her daughter and asking her to call. “It’s urgent,” she posted.

Mr Islam, a Bangladesh national on a bridging visa, had his visa cancelled on Monday by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

He withdrew a scheduled bail application in Penrith Local Court on Tuesday and repeatedly interjected the  proceedings to complain about his visa being cancelled.

“Why won’t the court grant me bail for seven days so I can sort out the visa?” he said through an interpreter.

“I can’t talk to anyone to take on my visa matter.”

Mr Islam was told repeatedly that the local court had no jurisdiction to deal with his visa issues.

Neighbours said they believed up to eight people lived in the house with Mr Islam, an unemployed 29-year-old who came to Australia by boat in 2013.

The homeowner, who also lives in the house, chased Fairfax Media off the property on Tuesday. Last week, he told News Corp Australia that the girl had been living with Mr Islam for three weeks.

“He said she was a girlfriend,” he said. “[I] saw them together making dinner … shopping together, always together.”

Another resident in the home said the girl appeared to be happy and relaxed with Mr Islam yet they often stayed in his room with the door locked.

Mr Islam came to Australia by boat as an asylum seeker in 2013. He was held in detention on Christmas Island and then transferred to Australia to live in the community on a bridging visa.

The girl was taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead for medical assessment and was released last week.

Police also seized a number of items from Mr Islam’s home for forensic examination.

He will reappear in court on December 16.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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